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Sonoma County Gazette
The wonder of ART Trails is to enter Artist's personal lives by going into their studios to see how they live and create
The wonder of ART Trails is to enter Artist's personal lives by going into their studios to see how they live and create.

Art Trails
Take This Journey 

October 12-13 & 19-20 

Oct 9, 2019
by Vesta Copestakes


Marylu Downing - Mixed Media: Vibrant, imaginative work. Studio # 61I grew up thinking of myself as an artist. I drew, I wrote stories, I played the piano. Those are all ART talents. But after going to Tyler School of Fine Arts for two years, I watched as my older classmates graduated and went off to work for the post office or advertising agencies. Commercial art. Not Fine Art. It was a pivotal realization that making a living as an artist is elusive at best. I was totally aware of the term “starving artist.” But I had dreams nonetheless.

My “Retirement Dream” is to be the artist, musician, and writer I was when I was 15, still dreaming, and before I became responsible for my own survival. By the end of my sophomore year in college, I was having a hard time paying rent, and feeding myself. It became obvious that making a living was more important than creating art.

Morning Star by Rik Olson - Linocut Color 16.25 x 11

Many of the artists you find on annual Art Trails and Art at the Source Open Studio days are people who shared this same experience. They were always creative and dreamed of the day when they would be able to create without the burden of financing their lives. Some rare people actually made a living all along...but they are so rare you would recognize their names.

Masterful Printmaker Rik OlsonRik Olson, Studio #85 - Fine Tree Care artist on the back page of the Gazette!

The rest are people who are just as true artists as famous people because they never stopped creating. That defines a “real” artist to me. Someone who never stopped. They just HAVE to make art.

You will find many of these dedicated artists on Art Trails. The wonder is to enter their personal lives by going into their studios to see how they live and create. What an immense delight and privilege to experience their creativity and let it inspire you with the awe that comes from being in the realm of a person who just HAS to create. They really have no choice. 

Take this journey October 12-13 & 19-20 

Preview exhibiton at Sebastopol Center for the Arts.

Pick up the catalog and flip the pages to find artists that inspire your curiosity.ONLINE @

Super realistic whimsical trompe l'oeil oil paintings on canvas. Studio 122TAKE THE TIME to be inspired by creative people.

And if you can, find a place on the wall, a place in the garden, a place in your house to bring something home with you to change your environment with an artists’ creation. It’s money well-spent for the gift it gives you every day.

And PLEASE VISIT these artists who support my efforts to promote the arts community all year in the pages of the Gazette's print edition as well as online.Mutual support is very much appreciated!

Marylu Downing and Rik Olson are members of the Graton Gallery cooperative at9048 Graton Road, Graton, CA

Marylu Downing - Mixed Media: Vibrant, imaginative work. Studio # 61 at the Atelier ONE, 2869 Bowen Street, Graton |

Evelyn Nitzberg -  Super realistic whimsical trompe l'oeil oil paintings.Studio 12at4460 Bodega Avenue,Petaluma, CA | 707-889-0169 | -also by appointment throughout the year.

Rik Olson - Masterful Printmaker. Studio #85 at 12869 Occidental Rd., Sebastopol, CA707-874-1299 |


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